It is widely accepted that professional experience or practicum is ‘a critically important part of teacher education courses and is consistently valued highly by student teachers’ (eg Ramsey, 2000; Teaching Australia, 2006; Parliament of Australia, 2007). In Australia and overseas there is a growing emphasis on teacher educators working in partnership with schools to construct professional experiences that maximise student teacher engagement and learning (Parliament of Australia, 2007).
The literature on professional experience in pre-service teacher education provides varied and detailed accounts of the roles of the Pre-service Teacher, the Mentor Teacher and the University Mentor (see for example, Gaffey & Dobbins, 1996; Guyton & McIntyre, 1990; Zeichner, 1999). However the School based Professional Experience Co-ordinator, usually the principal or deputy principal, has received very little attention in the literature. The study on which this article is primarily based fills a gap in the existing literature on professional experience with its focus on the School based Co-ordinator role. It will be argued that Co-ordinators are essential in developing ‘new’ school-university partnerships which are necessary in ensuring high quality professional experiences.
Le Cornu, R. J.
School Co-ordinators: Leaders of Learning in Professional Experience.
Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 37(3).